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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0007-WORSHIP (IBADAT)(PART II)

Lecture for 1st year medical students on 29th July 2000 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule

1.3.3 FASTING (SAUM)

A. MERITS OF FASTING

DEFINITION:

The definition of fasting as prohibition of entry of anything through any of the external body orifices is figurative but is true. Food and drink through the mouth are not allowed. Smoking and other inhalants are also forbidden. Sexual relations are strictly forbidden. All these prohibitions operate during the day-light hours because fasting is not obligatory at night.

 

FASTING IN THE QUR'AN: 2:183-185

 

SPECIAL MERITS OF RAMADHAN:

The month of Ramadhan has a special standing amongst the rest of the months (MB hadith # 923). The Qur'an was revealed in Ramadhan. The first armed struggle in Islam between faslehood and truth at Badr was in the month of Ramadhan. It is also the month of fasting.

 

REWARDS OF FASTING:

Fasting is an act of worship with a lot of good, fadhl (MB hadith # 919,920) and reward, ajr (KS 324). The reward is more if the fasting is undertaken while on the path of Allah, sabiil al laah (KS 325). The fasting person has two pleasures: when he breaks the fast and when he meets his Lord. If a person fasts the month of Ramadhan in the true belief and expectation of reward from Allah, he is forgiven all the previous sins (KS 425). 

 

B. BENEFITS OF FASTING

ADVANTAGES OF FASTING FOR THE INDIVIDUAL:

Fasting has a positive impact on the individual. Fasting is ibadat that teaches self-control. A fasting person is able to control the food instinct, perhaps the most powerful human instinct. The sense of self-control gained is extendable to other situations of temptation to evil or when facing difficulties. Thus fasting is described as protection, al saum junnat (KS 325). Fasting helps in control of the sex drive (KS 325, MB #927). Fasting is an exercise and training in patience (KS 324). It helps control of aggression. A fasting person who is insulted does not respond in kind but just says 'I am fasting' (KS 334). Fasting helps control the toungue; a fasting person who does not achieve this control gets not rewards from the fast (KS 334). 

 

SOCIAL ADVANTAGES OF FASTING:

Fasting also has the further advantage that it teaches compassion for the poor and the hungry in a practical way. The wealthy who fast taste of hunger and can appreciate the cry for help from the poor and less privileged. Without this obligatory fasting the wealthy would never taste real hunger.

 

FASTING AND THE DAILY ROUTINES OF LIFE:

When undertaken according to the teachings of the prophet, fasting should not disturb the normal activities needed to work for feeding the family or undertaking ‘ibadat. It is offensive to treat the month of Ramadhan as a month of laziness. Fasting has a benefitial impact on the daily routine of life. It is surprising to many people to discover that their daily life routines are tightly controlled by the pattern of meals. A fasting person feels a sense of liberation in Ramadhan when the routines of daily life are changed. Ramadhan is therefore a time of stock-taking when a person can look back in his her life when he or she is in a different mood.

 

PHYSIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF FASTING:

Fasting does not make the body suffer to attain spiritual benefit. The concept of ascetism in this sense is alien to the Islamic creed. There is no spiritual advantage in punishing or persecuting the body or causing it any harm. The rights of the body must be respected in fasting (MB hadith # 961). The Law provides guidelines on fasting for those who may suffer from physiological imbalances. The sick, the young, the travellers, pregnant women, menstruating women, breast-feeding mothers, and any other persons for whom fasting is an extra burden are excused from fasting or are asked to fast at a different time when they are physiologically competent. The law also provides for protection of conjugal rights of spouses (MB hadith #963)

 

FASTING IN HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE PREVENTION:

Fasting also has health benefits. It purifies the body, al saum zakat al jism (KS 325). There are several medical advantages of fasting. Abundant epidemiological evidence has proved that diet is a co-factor in heart diseases and cancer. People or communities with excessive intake of certain types of foods are at increased risk for these diseases. Tobacco is linked to lung and oral cancers. In all such cases there is weak will-power to control appetite for food or tobacco. Fasting teaches appetite control. Its advantages should not be looked at only as deprivation of food for a limited time. The focus should be looked on the long-term benefits that a fasting person gets from strengthening will-power and stopping eating or smoking even if they feel like to eat more.

 

C. TYPES OF FASTING

OBLIGATORY FASTING:

Fasting the whole month of Ramadhan is obligatory.

 

NON-OBLIGATORY FASTING:

6 days in shawaal (KS 327)

9th of Dhil al Hajj (KS 327)

9th and 10th of Muharram

3 days in every lunar month (KS 327): 13th, 14th, and 15th

Fasting every Monday and Thursday (KS 327)

The …… months, ashhur al hurum

 

PUNITIVE FASTING:

 

PROHIBITED FASTING:

Days of the 2 eids (KS 327)

Continous fasting, wisaal (KS 330)

Life-time fasting, saum al dahar (KS 328)

Doubtful day

The second half of sha'abaan

Purposely planning to fast on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday

 

FASTING OF THE PROPHETS:

The fasting of Nuh was all his life except the days of eid (KS 328)

The fasting of Daud was fasting on alternate days (KS 330)

 

D. ETIQUETTE and REGULATIONS OF FASTING

ETIQUETTE OF FASTING (MB #925)

Suhuur: There is blessing , barakat, in suhuur (KS 331).

 

OBLIGATION:

Fasting of Ramadhan is obligatory and is one of the pillars of Islam (KS 325). Fasting is obligatory for adult, sane, and healthy Muslims.

 

START AND END OF RAMADHAN:

Fasting takes place in the month of Ramadhan. It is part of the new civilisation ushered in by Islam that Muslims have to determine accurately the start and end of Ramadhan and have to watch the calendar carefully. The start and end of the Ramadhan is determined by the sight of the crescent (KS 326). Testimony of one reliable witness is sufficient to establish the sight of the crescent. It is forbidden to fast a day of doubt, siyam yawm al shakk. Non-obligatory fasting is forbidden in the second half of the month of sha'abaan to avoid mix-up with the month of Ramadhan (KS 326, 327).

 

THE INTENTION TO FAST:

The niyyat for non-obligatory fasting must be made before noon

 

PILLARS OF FASTING:

 

CONDITIONS OF FASTING:

 

NULLIFIERS OF FASTING:

Eating and Drinking

Use of snuff or tobacco in the nose

Putting water in the ear until it reaches the ear-drum

Any penetration by any object or material into the body cavity. Intra-muscular and intra-venous injections are excepted

Vomiting

Sexual intercourse: Vaginal coitus or any other sexual act that leads to orgasm nullifies the fasting. Sexual intercourse, al jimau, in Ramadhan is a serious offense with a punitive punishment (KS 332). The punishment imposed on the man and not the woman is to fast 60 consecutive days for each day nullified or feeding 60 poor people, masakin. Non-coital relations with the wife are allowed but with strict limitations that depend on the age (KS 332).

Excessive madhmadhat

Excessive istinshaaq

Swallowing saliva and phlegm is a matter of controversy among the scholars

Insanity or loss of consciousness even if temporary

 

ACTIVITIES THAT DO NOT NULLIFY THE FASTING:

Wet sexual dream (KS 333)

Cupping, a hijaam (KS 333). We have to consider the patient, al mahjuum, and the cupper, al haajim, separately.

Madhmadhat

Istinshaaq

Tepid sponging for a fever patient, tabarrud (KS 333)

 

THE SUNNAT OF FASTING, MANDUUBAAT AL SAUM

Dua at break-fast (KS 331).

delaying suhuur, ta'akhiir al suhuur (KS 331)

Hastening iftar, ta'ajiil al iftar (KS 330)

Generosity, al juud

Joining kindred relations, silat al rahm

Recitation of the Qur'an, tilawat al Qur'an

Serving breakfast for those fasting. Feeding the fasting person: The reward of the person giving breakfast is equivalent to that of one who fasts, al taim ka al saim (KS 334).

I'itikaaf

Major ablution before salat al fajr

Avoiding ghaibat, kadhb, and fahsh

Delaying unnecessary medical treatment

 

FASTING OF THE WIFE:

The wife must get her husband's permission for non-obligatory fasting. Such permission is not needed for the fasting of Ramadhan (KS 333).

 

FASTING OF CHILDREN: (KS 334):

Children are told to fast from the age of 7 years.

 

EATING IN RAMADHAN:

If a person deliberately breaks the Ramadhan fast with no valid excuse he must fast two consecutive months (KS 332) for each day. Excessive hunger or thirst that are feared to harm health are a valid excuse to break the fast and make up later. If a person eats or drinks in forgetfulness then all they have to do is to complete the day and the day is considered valid (KS 333). A non-obligatory fast can be broken at any time but must be redone, qadha (KS 333). 

 

RIGHTS OF THE GUEST:

A guest does not fast non-obligatory fasts except with the permission of the host (KS 330)

 

I'ITIKAAF (2:187)

 

E. EXEMPTIONS IN FASTING

PERMISSION TO BREAK THE FAST WITHOUT KAFFAARAT:

The following are allowed to break the fast but must make up later. The make-up must be before the next Ramadhan. If the make-up is delayed until the next Ramadhan comes, kaffarat becomes due by feeding the poor.

 

sick, al maridh (KS 328, KS 334)

 

traveller, al musafir  (KS 331). The fast of a traveller who chooses not to take the exemption is valid

 

Pregnant woman, al hublah (KS 334) if the fasting is a possible risk to the mother's health

 

Breast-feeding woman or nursing woman, al murdhi' (KS 334) if fasting is a risk to the health of the mother

 

Menstruating woman, al haidhah (KS 334): The exemption is obligatory. Any fasting by a mestruating woman in invalid.

 

Woman in post-partum bleeding, nifaas (   ). The exemption is obligatory. Any fasting undertaken in the post-partum period is invalid.

 

PERMISSION TO BREAK FASTING WITH KAFFAARAT

The following are allowed to break the fast and pay kaffarat:

The elderly, al shaikh (KS 334)

Terminally ill patient

Pregnant woman, al hublah (KS 334) if fasting is a risk to the health of the fetus

Breast-feeding woman or nursing woman, al murdhi' (KS 334) if fasting is a risk to the health of the baby

 

 

 

 

 

1.3.4 GIVING (INFAQ/ SADAQAT)

A. CONCEPTS

SADAQAT:

The concept of sadaqat in Islam is very comprehensive. It covers all good actions however small they may be. You can be charitable by saying a good word, refraining from saying a bad word, by giving money, by helping others with your hands, and by thinking good of others. Sadaqat is closely related to iman (23:1-4) and taqwa (2:2-3). Generosity is encouraged while miserliness is discouraged (MB # 729).

 

There are several types of sadaqat. Sadaqat can be obligatory or voluntary. It can be open or private; the private being better (2:271). The prophet described the characteristics of the best sadaqat (MB #716).

 

B. PURPOSES OF SADAQAT

THREE PURPOSES

Sadaqat has three main purposes: (a) improve the giver because it is atonement for sins (9:104) (b) cleanse wealth (p 531 9:103, 9:1-3) (c) improve society. All three can be achieved from one single act of charity.

 

BENEFITS FOR THE GIVER

The giver has to part with something considered dear. He or she must struggle against the human tendency to be covetous and selfish, al shuhhu. Those who give overcome the acquisitive instinct that leads humans to accumulate wealth by all means, fair or foul, and never get satified. The more one gives he or she becomes a fuller human being. Thus giving becomes part of human liberation.

 

BENEFITS FOR THE RECIPIENT:

The recipient has needs relieved.

 

BENEFITS FOR THE COMMUNITY:

Sadaqat leads to a mutually supportive community. Sadaqat thus creates psychological security. Individuals in the community know that if there is a need some-ne will help them. This feeling of security covers both the wealthy and the deprived. The wealthy today may become the needy of tomorrow. Sadaqat is a system of social mutual support. Those who have share with those who do not have. This increases social cohesivenenss and the feeling of brotherhood.

 

C. ZAKAT AL MAAL

SOCIAL WELFARE

The obligatory sadaqat, zakat, is a unique institution in social support and social welfare. The giver is obliged by law to give. The receiver does not feel that he is inferior because he is being helped because what is given to him is on instructions from Allah. The zakat that the poor receive is a right that they have in the wealth of the rich (51:19, KS 261). If the institution of zakat was operating fully as is required by law, there would be no destitution in the ummat today. Zakat is distributed within the geographical area in which it was collected.

REGULATIONS, ahkaam zakaat al maal

Nisaab: Zakat al maal is paid from wealth if there is a quorum held for 1 year.

 

Zakatable property: metals, paper money, trade goods, crops, and livestock.

 

Beneficiaries: The recipients of zakat al maal were explained in the Qur'an (    ) and the sunnat (KS 261). The 8 categories of recipients are: (a) The poor, al faqir, defined as one who does not have enough wealth to live on, can not work or can not find work. (b) The destitute, maskin, is one who is short of money. (c) Zakat workers, al amilun alaiha. (d) Those whose hearts are being reconciles, muallafat al quluub. (e) Slaves who can buy their freedom using the zakat money. (f) The indebted, al ghamirun. (g) Those struggling in the way of Allah, fi sabil llaahi. (h) Travelers who need money, ibn al sabiil

 

Obligation: Zakat al maal is due from all Muslims (men and women; children and adult) who have held the quorum, nisaab, for 1 year. The legal guardian of a child or an insane person is obliged to pay zakat from their respective wealth. Zakat is no obligatory for non-Muslims. Debts do not remove the obligation of zakat. Zakat can be paid in advance.

 

D. ZAKAT AL FITR

Zakat al fitr  (KS 202) is a fixed amount paid on behalf of each member of the family at the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan. It plays a very important social and psychological function. The less priviledged are assured that they can take part in the festivities at the end of the fasting month. Zakat results in growth and increase of wealth. It cleanses wealth. It is a pillar of Islam (KS 257). Withholding zakat is a great sin (KS 258).

 

E. NON-OBLIGATORY SADAQAT, SADAQAT AL TATAWU'U:

This is recommended all the time. There is special merit in sadaqat in Ramadhan.

Sadaqat can be given to the righteous, the relatives.

Sadaqat is given from the best of wealth

Sadaqat should not be given from wealth of doubtful source

Sadaqat, unlike zakat, can be given to the non-Muslim

Reminding the recipient of sadaqat, al mann,  is unlawful

 

1.3.5 PILGRIMAGE, HAJJ

A. OBLIGATION:

Hajj is a response to the call of Allah (p. 315 22:27-30). Hajj is obligatory only on adult sane  Muslims who are financially and physically capable (p. 315 3:97). Factors considered in judging financial ability are: having enough funds to pay the expenses of travelling, food, and accomodation while leaving enough funds to maintain the family for the duration of the pilgrimage. A debtor is not obliged to perform hajj. Among factors considered in judging physical ability are: security of the road, health, a mahram for a woman, or two trusted women travelling together. There are obligations that take precedence over hajj like jihad, caring for parents and the family. The obligation is only one pilgrimage in a life-time. Any additional ones are nafilat. Proxy hajj can be performed on behalf of another person. The one performing proxy hajj must have discharged his hajj obligation before.

 

B. SIGNIFICANCE OF HAJJ

Hajj is a very important act of worship. A well perfoemed hajj that Allah accepts guarantees entry into heaven (MB # 772, 773).

 

Hajj is a unique institution found in no other religion or community. It involves worship of Allah but at the same time fulfills social and ummatic functions. In hajj Muslims, men and women, come from all the world to worship together. This reminds them of the power and majesty of the creator to whom all people turn. It also reminds each individual that he or she is not alone but is part of a world-wide community of  believers. In hajj all pilgrims do the same rites again a reminder of the unity of humanity in worship. The male pilgrims are all dressed in the same way. The rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, the famous and the unknown are all reminded that in front of Allah they are all the same. Hajj is also an occasion for social interaction. Trade is allowed mainly for this purpose. Thus hajj is a big international conference of the ummat and if its significance were well appreciated the ummat would be more united and more cohesive.

 

Hajj in unfortunately not a political and economic forum for the ummat at the moment. If an attempt were made to make it the ummatic annual summit that it should be, the existing schisms in the ummat would predominate over the unity and the ‘ibadat would not be carried out well. We have to be careful in hajj not to undertake activities that will distract from the main purpose of worship.

 

C. THE CITY OF MAKKAH

The city of Makka has a special spiritual significance for the Muslim (3:96, 2:125-127, 14:35-37, 5:97, 22:25). It is the religious capital of the ummat and perhaps of humanity. It has the holy kaaba, a sacred house, al bayt al haram,  that all  Muslims face in their prayers (p 214-215 2:125-127, 2:144, 2:149-150, 2:158, 2:191, 2:196, 2:219, 3:96, 5:2, 8:34-35, 9:7, 9:19, 9:28, 14:35-37, 22:25-26, 22:29, 22:33, 28:57,  29:67, 48:25, 48:27, 95:3, 106:3). It is a city of peace that is open to all Muslims. The visitor and resident have the same equal rights (p. 315 22:25), a situation that is not found in other places on earth. As part of its holiness, hunting is not allowed in the city (p 315 5:95-96).

 

D. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RITES OF HAJJ

Hajj has prescribed rites (p. 315 2:196-203). Each of the hajj rites has its spiritual and social significance.

 

Circumbulation of the kaaba (tawaaf) signifies unity of the community of believers. This community has both time and place dimensions. Believers have always been coming to go around the house from time immemorial and will do so until the end of the world. Believers come from all parts of the world. This community of believers also includes angels in the high heavens who circumbulate bayt al ma’mur which is in heaven directly above the kaaba. A worshipper at the kaaba is therefore part of this big community of worshippers. This gives encouragement and motivation.

Safa and marwa are one of the signs of Allah, sha'air al laah (p. 314 2:158). The trot between safa and marwa (al sa’ay) signifies strength and hope in times of adversity as did the mother of Ismail who was left in Makka with no water or provisions and was running between the two hillocks in fear and hope until Allah delivered her and her son from  danger

 

Standing in the plain of Arafat (wuquf arafat) signifies the unity and equality of humanity. People of all colours and nationalities gather in one plain with only one purpose, the worship of Allah.

 

Stone-throwing (ram’yu a; jamarat) signifies the determination not to succumb to the temptations of shaitan. This symbolism commemorates the victory of the patriarch of the believers Ibrahim (PBUH) over shaitan who tried to distract him from executing Allah’s commands.

 

E. REGULATIONS OF HAJJ, ahkaam al hajj

conditions for validity (shurut al hajj), forbidden things (mawaniu al hajj), and nullifiers (mubtilaat al hajj). Every intending pilgrim must know these things in order to perform hajj correctly and fully.

 

PILLARS (ARKAN AL HAJJ):

The pillars of hajj and umrah are: ihram; cicumbulation, tawaaf; trot between safa and marwa, sa'ay; shaving the hair, al halaq. Hajj has the additional pillars of: standing in Arafat, stoning the jamaraat, sleeping at Muzdalifat, sleeping at Mina, and the farewell circumbulation. Leaving out any pillar is expiated by slaughtering or fasting.

 

Three modes of hajj and umrah: There are three ways of perfominh hajj with umrah. Ifraad is when all the rites of hajj are completed before starting the rites of umrah. Tamatu'u is when the rites of umrah are completed before starting the rites of hajj. Iqraan is when hajj and umrah are performed simultaneously. For those choosing tamatu'u and iqraan there is a fidyat of slaughtering a goat or fasting 10 days, 3 in Makka and 7 after return to the home country.

 

Preliminaries of ihram: The pilgrim washes, ghusl. If there is no enough water, ablution, wudhu, is sufficient. The following hygienic measures are also undertaken: shaving pubic hair, plucking the under-pits, clipping the moustache, clipping the nails. All old clothes are removed. The men wear only the rida and izaar. Women can wear their ordinary sewn clothes but can not veil their face. The body can be perfumed but not the clothes.

 

Prohibitions of muhrim: When a person enters the state of ihram, he or she is now called a muhrim. The following are prohibited for a muhrim: sewn garments, using  perfume, removing nails or hair, sexual intercourse or foreplay, and hunting. Violation of any of these requires kaffarat which is slaughtering, feeding the poor, or fasting for three days. Any marriage transaction while in a state of ihram is invalid.

In the haram: The pilgrim prays 2 rakaats before entering the haram. Talbiat is continued all the time except when making tawaf or the trot between safa and marwa. Circumbulation of the kaaba is 7 times with 2 rakaats being offerred at the end. The trot between safa and marwa is 7 times starting at safa.

 

Mina, Muzdalifat, and Arafat: On the morning of 8th of dhul al hijja the pilgrims move to Mina. They pray dhuhr, asr, maghrib, and isha at Mina. They sleep at Mina and pray fajr. After fajr they move to Arafat where they spend the day. After maghrib they start moving from Arafat to Muzdalifat where they spend the night. They wake upo and pray fajr after which they pick pebbles that they will throw at the jamaraat in Mina. They them move to Mina where they stone the jamaraat and slaughter. They then cut a bit of hair from both men and women signifying partial release from ihram.

 

Return to Makka:  From Mina they then move to Makka where they perform tawaf al ifadhat and are then completely released from ihram. They perform the farewell circumbulation, tawaaf al widai, before leaving Makka. A menstruating woman may leave Makka without performing the farewell circumbulation.

 

Visit of Madina: it is recommended to visit the Prophet's mosque in Madina.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule July 2000